Course Descriptions

Pre-Professional OT Curriculum
(All courses offered in a weekend format.)

OT 421  Introduction to Occupational Therapy Practice (3)

This course provides an introductory study to the field of occupational therapy. The historical and philosophical development of occupational therapy will be presented as well as the concepts of occupation, person, environment, and professional interpersonal factors. Emphasis will be placed on occupation and co-occupation as core concepts, the domain and occupational therapy client centered process, and the importance in engagement in occupation to support participation in context(s), health and wellness. Professional factors will address Occupational Therapy Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, and how occupational therapy services are delivery. Roles and tasks of occupational therapy practitioners, working in a variety of practice settings with diverse populations across the life span, will be discussed as well as professional development.

Course does not apply to students who are COTAs. A minimum grade of B (84) is required for acceptance into OT professional courses.

OT 431  Overview of Occupational Therapy Practice (3)

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the profession, including the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework:  Domain and Process – 3rd edition (2014), the history, and theorists in the profession, professionalism, conceptual framework of occupational therapy (applied theory and models of practice), clinical reasoning, and therapeutic use of self. The context of service delivery will be reviewed along with an introduction to the structure of a frame of reference, as well as ethical and professional considerations, as a foundation for subsequent courses. Current practices and future trends will also be explored inclusive of cultural and global issues as they impact quality of life, service delivery, and clients’ ability to live “life to the fullest.”  The roles of occupational therapy practitioners, as relate to a career transition from occupational therapy assistant to occupational therapist, will be explored. This course involves distance learning assignments and experiential teaching-learning experiences.

Students with COTA backgrounds only. A course grade of B (84) is required for acceptance into OT professional courses.

OT 532  Kinesiology in OT Practice (6)

This course expands upon and integrates information presented in Anatomy & Physiology, and/or Clinical Anatomy. Students are introduced to the principles of biomechanics, joint kinematics, and muscle function, to enhance their understanding of normal human motion.  Experiential laboratory sessions will provide illustrations of these concepts as well as the opportunity to develop skill in assessing joint range of motion, muscle strength, posture, and movement patterns related to occupational performance. A course grade of B and a G.P.A. of 3.0 (80 for graduate grading system) is required for acceptance into OT professional courses.

Professional Courses

OT 534  Tools of Practice (6)

A study of the tools of occupational therapy including the non-human environment, activity analysis, occupation-based analysis, conscious use of self, the teaching-learning process, synthesis and gradation of activities.  Laboratory sessions consist of task group meetings that enable a student to develop skills in a variety of therapeutic media.  Emphasis is on application and process to build beginning skills for the therapeutic use of occupations and activities.  This course enables students to integrate theoretical foundations with activity selection, performance, adaptation and gradation for a diversity of clinical situations.  Course does not apply to students who are COTAs.

OT 536  Foundations of Occupational Therapy (3)

This course focuses on the theoretical constructs underlying occupational performance encompassing a study of major occupational therapy models of practice.  Historical and current theoretical constructs are explored, with socio-political, cultural, and research perspectives analyzed for their impact on theory development.  A corollary focus of the course is on the domain and process of the profession, which has occupation as its core, while also exploring the role and contribution of an individual’s personal resources to the occupational therapy process. Students are immersed in learning activities and readings to develop an essential practice tool, that is, “therapeutic use of self”.  This is done through select activities designed to develop self-awareness and critical appraisal skill and to foster self-directed learning and the development of critical thinking skills. Students are guided through reflective activities to critically evaluate and monitor the development of their critical thinking skills. Students are encouraged to apply concepts learned in this and future courses to improve their occupational performance in the occupation of school.

Emphasis is placed on the development of skills understand and apply  the conceptual foundations of practice through the use of lecture, laboratory experiences, problem-based learning activities, video, and case analyses.  Along with comparing and contrasting occupation-centered models, students discuss the historical influences through the lens of the Occupational Therapy founders and occupational therapy and occupational science scholars, e.g. Eleanor Clarke Slagle lectures. The discipline of occupational science, cultural competency model, the Kawa Model and principles of critical thinking and reasoning are also addressed.   Course does not apply to students who are COTAs.

OT 542  Childhood and OT Practice (6)

This course will highlight occupation based pediatric practice focusing on the assessment and, to a lesser degree, the treatment of children birth to 12 years. The developmental mastery of performance skills impacting childhood occupations as well as the pediatric disorders most frequently treated in practice will be studied. The ability to recognize the difference between typical and atypical development is also investigated. Because the process of evaluation is the initial phase of occupational therapy the evaluation process will be highlighted. Students will complete two evaluations on two different typically developing  children during the course, thus, beginning to experience and understand simultaneously the occupational therapy process and typical development.  The importance of client factors, context and environment on pediatric practice, and the profession’s support for the individual child, their family, as well as the community is emphasized. Students will be expected to identify and, by the end of the course, choose the most relevant frames of reference for establishing an evaluation and intervention plan for a student created case study. Introduction to advanced practice issues specific to pediatric practice, such as neonatal intensive care (highlighting team members, family and environment of the NICU), pediatric feeding disorders, sensory processing, early intervention, and school-based practice, occurs in this course.  Audiovisuals, use of concept maps, hands-on activities with assessment tools, role play, and laboratory exercises will be used as instructional aides to complement lecture material and required reading.

OT 544  Clinical Conditions in Occupational Therapy Practice (3)

This course provides the student with a study of the significant disease entities, including the etiology, pathology, prognosis and typical medical treatments that are most often encountered by the practicing occupational therapist. Opportunities are provided for students to learn, identify and relate covered material to their emerging occupational therapy knowledge. Emphasis will be placed on readings, discussions, and examples to illustrate the impact that the covered diseases and conditions may have on occupational performance and engagement in a variety of contexts and stages of development across the lifespan.

OT 545  Professional Practice Skills I (6)

This course provides an introductory, yet in-depth, experiential study of the core skills necessary for professional practice, including the knowledge and ability to think and reason critically, utilize the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework to observe and document human behavior and occupational performance, understand and implement a wide variety of frames of reference across the lifespan and clinical conditions, develop and participate meaningfully in group settings and activities, and continue the development of therapeutic and professional relationships, behaviors, and cultural competence.

OT 643  Adolescence and OT Practice (6)

This course focuses on the developmental stage of middle childhood and adolescence for the application of theoretical constructs for evaluation and interventions.  Students are provided with teaching-learning activities to understand, illustrate and demonstrate screening, evaluation and intervention planning for the middle childhood to late adolescence period in relation to supporting engagement in occupations. Opportunities are provided for students to study and begin to develop skills for remediation and compensation for disability status  (mental, cognitive, perceptual, behavioral, etc.) and situational factors based on identified needs of the population. An examination of  behavioral, and psycho-social factors is emphasized for their relevance/importance in the application of theories for this life stage for meaningful occupation outcomes. The course addresses occupational therapy practice most often associated with middle childhood and adolescence. Through classroom-based, and .online-based teaching methodology, the course addresses occupational therapy practice with children in middle childhood and with young people in their adolescence

OT 646  Professional Practice Skills II (6)

This course provides an in-depth study of the tools of occupational therapy practice.  Emphasis will be placed upon the learning of established evaluation methods and intervention techniques so that students will have the background skills for planning appropriate adaptations, compensations, or modifications for clients with limitations in occupational performance tasks.  Laboratory sessions will consist of task group meetings that will enable students to develop evaluation and intervention skills, and become competent in the use, design, and/or fabrication of a variety of rehabilitative equipment, positioning devices, and orthotics. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to observe and/or practice skills related to assessment, muscle testing, goniometry, transfer techniques, wheelchair positioning and seating. The role of the occupational therapist in increasing function, diminishing dysfunction, and enhancing the quality of life for persons with disabilities will be emphasized.  The use of evidence-based practice will be discussed as related to intervention strategies in order to draw conclusions for practice.  Through the lens of occupational therapy practice, the impact of the current health care and educational delivery system is explored

OT 649  Leadership in Occupational Therapy Practice (3)

This last trimester course focuses on the leadership and management of occupational therapy services, as well as professional issues that include the ethical, legal, political, legislative, reimbursement, and ethos of the practice and the practitioner. Students explore and analyze administrative, supervisory, leadership, and professional issues related to the practice context and promotion of the profession. The course addresses the contexts of the health care and other delivery systems (e.g. political, educational, and community). The examination and analysis of policy, demographic factors, and organizational considerations in the delivery of occupational therapy services is discussed. Federal, state and local guidelines related to practice and implications for credentialing and reimbursement are explored.  The grant writing process is introduced as a potential avenue for fiscal resources. Professional standards (American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)), national certification, licensure, and continuing competence are discussed with emphasis on ongoing professional development to maintain currency in all areas of professional practice.

OT 652  Adulthood and OT Practice (6)

This course presents the developmental stages, roles, and tasks of the adult. Focus is placed on the impact that biopsychosocial stress, dysfunction and/or disability have on the primary roles and tasks of the adult.  The course develops and emphasizes the skillful analysis and application of occupational therapy frames of reference for the selection and utilization of appropriate evaluation and intervention techniques with a variety of adult clinical conditions.

OT 662  Fieldwork Level I Seminar (3)

This course is an introductory study of the roles and tasks of the occupational therapist practicing in psychosocial and physical disabilities clinical or community-based settings.  A minimum of 48 hours of supervised fieldwork experience in two different settings with emphasis on physical, cognitive and psychosocial aspects will provide the student with an integrated learning experience.  The fieldwork experience will be structured around academic assignments enabling students to integrate theoretical knowledge with a range of clinical and/or community-based situations as well as working with individuals having a diversity of psychosocial and physical disabilities or needs along the developmental continuum.

OT 663  Fieldwork Level I Seminar (1)

This course is an introductory study of the roles and tasks of the occupational therapist practicing in psychosocial and physical disabilities clinical or community-based settings. A minimum of 6 to 8 hours of supervised fieldwork experience in two different settings with emphasis on physical, cognitive and psychosocial aspects will provide the student with an integrated learning experience.  The fieldwork experience will be structured around academic assignments enabling students to integrate theoretical knowledge with a range of clinical and/or community-based situations as well as working with individuals having a diversity of psychosocial and physical disabilities or needs along the developmental continuum. This course is also designed to provide a link between theory and practice for the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) student transitioning to the role of the occupational therapist.  (Students with COTA backgrounds only).

OT 664  Research in Occupational Therapy (3)

Students’ understanding of the types of scholarship related to the value of occupation to improve health and wellness of human lives is promoted.  Types and ways in which knowledge is obtained are examined in preparation for evidence-based practice.  Students develop skills to critically appraise published research studies as related to occupational therapy practice and evidence-based practice.  Components that go into formulating a question(s) and /or hypothesis, a relevant background, literature review, and methodology and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data are discussed.  Students complete an evidence-based practice paper, which critically appraises evidence that supports or refutes a treatment intervention impacting on individuals’ participation in meaningful occupations. Criteria for reporting research, according to established publication standards, will be emphasized.

OT 753  Maturity and OT Practice (6)

This course will present those elements that contribute to making the age of maturity productive and filled with meaningful occupation.  Emphasis on occupational therapy assessments and intervention associated with the aging process due to 1) client factors affected by disability, illness, disease, deprivation, 2) contextual or environmental factors or 3) the demands, performance, or process (patterns) of  activities meaningful to the individual.  Specific issues related to chronic illness, family care giving, and terminal illness are explored.  Skills for evaluating the mature person’s occupational performance and intervention methods to support “health and participation in life through engagement in occupation” are explored.  This course also has an application experience-one day off-site providing students opportunities to demonstrate skills in designing appropriate group interventions for the elderly under supervision with peer support. The capstone project involves conducting a needs assessment for an agency or facility serving the elderly, and developing an occupational therapy program based on the determined needs.

OT 754  Advanced Practice (3)

This course exposes students to areas of occupational therapy practice that are considered specialized to increase their awareness of the depth and breadth of the profession.  Emphasis will be on clinical reasoning and the integration of contemporary frames of reference and models of practice, and evidence-based assessments and interventions in specialized areas of practice.

A more in-depth discussion and practical experience of a variety of entry-level concepts, processes and methods will be provided.  The course also highlights the significance of the need to pursue continuing professional education to ensure competence in advanced practice areas.

OT 756  Research Symposium (3)

This course provides continued opportunities for students to refine their critical appraisal skills in evaluating the quality of evidence provided in published research studies, for evidence-based practice in occupational therapy.  Components that go into the collecting and analyzing of qualitative and quantitative data are discussed as well as the components that go into the Results, Discussion, Conclusion, and Abstract Sections of a research study.   Opportunities to apply knowledge of the research process is promoted by critical appraisal and discussion of quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques, and the results, discussion, and conclusions sections of a study, as well as the limitations.

Students who are not analyzing data will complete a capstone project, which involves the critique of their scholarship papers developed in OT 664.  Students will examine and assess their use of critical thinking skills, which includes deductive and inductive thinking, to produce a scholarly paper in preparation for higher level scholarly writing and evaluation of professional practice, service delivery, and/or professional issues (e.g. Scholarship of Integration, Application, Teaching and Learning).  Students analyzing data will complete a capstone research project, which involves the writing of abstract and results, discussion, and conclusion sections.  Criteria for reporting research, according to established publication standards, is emphasized.  The course will culminate in students’ poster presentations of their capstone papers.

OT 764  Fieldwork Level II A (3)

OT 765  Fieldwork Level II B (3)

This course offers supervised full-time fieldwork at agencies and organizations approved by the faculty in accordance with established AOTA and ACOTE standards. Two three-month affiliations provide a diversity of professional experience in both psychosocial and physical disabilities across the developmental continuum. Selection and scheduling of fieldwork sites is a collaborative process between the student and the Fieldwork Coordinators to ensure that the student’s educational needs and professional requirements are properly met. Direct supervision is provided by a registered Occupational Therapist with at least one year of experience. A mandatory seminar is scheduled during each fieldwork experience to provide support, facilitate the sharing of experiences and strategies, and promote successful integration of academic training with professional clinical practice.